PORTLAND, OR. - During the year marking the 200th Anniversary of his birth, Oregonians are working on several projects to honor the life and achievements of our second U.S. Senator, Edward Dickinson Baker, who tragically died at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, near Leesburg Virginia on October 21, 1861. We're taking our cue from the great example set by Oregon's twenty-second US Senator, Mark O Hatfield who brought national and state attention to the life and achievements of Senator Baker, who himself served in the very same Senate seat almost a century after Baker.


The successful life and tragic battlefield demise of Edward Dickinson Baker was a natural attraction for Hatfield, who was elected almost a century later to the same office. Senator Baker, the namesake of Baker County and Baker City, Oregon; was a respected colleague and sometimes opponent to Abraham Lincoln as their paths crossed several times on the ascending road to the presidency, and despite the occasional setbacks-- their bonds of friendship were unbreakable. 

For the 175th Anniversary of Lincoln's birth in 1984, Senator Hatfield delivered the keynote lecture at the Annual Banquet of the Abraham Lincoln Association held in Springfield, Illinois entitled "The Oregon Connection of Abraham Lincoln." Hatfield emphasized the powerful dynamics behind the high regard Abraham Lincoln and Edward Dickinson Baker held for each other: "Truly friendship among public men is uncommon," Hatfield said in his speech. "Is so uncommon that when it occurs I believe it should be studied and shared. Euripides said it well when he noted that "one loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives."